Skip to main content

tv   Lillian Faderman Harvey Milk  CSPAN  August 9, 2018 12:56am-2:17am EDT

12:56 am
1977 by a city board of supervisors member. also talked of harvey milk at a launching event at the mechanics institute in san francisco. this is one hour and 15 minutes >> good evening and thank you for joining us at the mechanics institute at 57 post street in sanan francisco. l i'm the director of events and i am pleased to welcome you here to the program for the book launch of harvey milk his life and death with author lillian who will be in conversation with activist and author keith jones. we would like to acknowledge the cosponsor for this event, the historical society and museum and i would like to welcome gerard, the communications
12:57 am
director who will say a few words about the historical society. [applause]or >> thank you so much to the mechanics institute. the historical society was founded 33, almost 34 years ago in san francisco i with archive, museums and research center, public history center and we are very honored in fact to be one of the places that hold tremendous collection of material related when the estate was finally settled a few years ago we received all of the personal belongings to his friends had kept for all those years. if you come to the museum we have a permanent display on the life and death and perhaps the most profoundly moving object is the suit that he was wearing when he was killed. it makes the act o that act of e very real and in our archives we have a wide range of other
12:58 am
material get an appointment and sit in the reading room and start n looking through materia. for those of you that are here pleasef become a member free admission to the museum in our programs, discount in the store. it's your support makes our organization survive and grow and thrive and i'm sure the message is the same for the mechanics institute. we are thrilled to be cosponsoring the event. take a look a look in the book u will find a mentioning of the museum. thanks a lot. [applause] >> of course for those of you that are new to the mechanics institute we would invite you to come wednesday at noon for a etour of the library which you are in right now and also the rest of the building becoming a member to attend most of the programs for free. it continues to be one of the
12:59 am
most vital cultural and literary centers in the area of ongoing events, discussions on topical issues and the series on friday night book clubs, the writers group, chess classes into tournaments into so much more that's going on here seven days a week. also after the program tonight, books by both authors will be on sale and they will be signing books for you. we invite you to also join us down at the bar for a post event gathering. this is on our first floor. harvey milk is celebrated and commemorated today throughout the country and especially in san francisco as we pay tribute to his work as a community leader and civil servant.
1:00 am
we salute his passion for a quality, human rights and social justice. right now more than ever we need harvey milk to inspire us to make oure voices heard, to stand up to speak truth to power and to make a difference in our democracy. so tonight to talk about his life and work, we have two experts who have deep personal ties to harvey milk and to his causes. .. >> has been translated into
1:01 am
numerous languages and six literary awards to library association awards and several lifetime achievement awards for scholarship including yale university the harlots award the literary society trailblazer board and many others beginning his career as an activist in san francisco in the 70s befriended by leader harvey milk he conceived the idea of a memorial quilt to memorialize all those americans have died for me he lives in san francisco and the author of
1:02 am
when we rise my life from the lambda literary award. [applause] >> it is good to see you i have a terrible cold but i dragged my butt out of bed because i wanted to be here especially on his birthday i postedn earlier on social media may be the single most important thing that ever tppened to me in my whole life i also want to acknowledge the founders that were part ofmo my friend and
1:03 am
also to say that to be on display in the smithsonian those for many years tomorrow that back back to san francisco with a new museum in that institution worthy of your support so now i will shut up so we can hear from dhe author anybody who had heard of harvey milk it was
1:04 am
first during the anita bryant debacle she founded save our children and managed to appeal the miami-dade gay rights ordinance and there were protests in san francisco they led the charge with the able assistance and of course i ran about how brilliantly he led the protest around san francisco so i first came to admire him in 1977 and then i heard about him when he ran
1:05 am
for office the first gay man to run this significant office there were two lesbians he was the first gay man. and then of course i heard about him in that initiative that was beautifully organized but the debates on television was brilliant and he was the one the media woulden cling to. but then i was soft and he was
1:06 am
fascinated and infuriated as all of us were when he got seven months one -- seven years but he had the twinkie defense argued he wasn't himself he had severe poisoningau he feasted on twinkies and cola and the first i knew about that t white knight riot that followed it and that is all i knew about harvey until he started to do research when they started that in about 2010 someone that was so much more complex and complicated and interesting of course i always
1:07 am
thought he was and from in the course of my research. but the book came out in 2015 but i only spent about one dozen pages on harvey. so when yale university press when i was writing a a biography series of course i was thrilled t and i jumped at it. i was familiar with the mayor but i already knew from my research from the gay revolution there were things i can add that they were not aware of and those that were
1:08 am
not available to him that were available now. for instance his chief correspondent 1955 through five through the early 60s with the young woman a heterosexual woman but he wrote dozens and does have letters to bearing his soul and i could see a part of harvey that i don't think randy schultz could see about relationships and who he was the other thing that was not available to harvey was at boston university and correspondence with the director of hair and jesus christ superstar and was very
1:09 am
important in harvey's life. he worked for him and with him a number of years and brought oval new aspect of life to include what i found in the boston university collection and i also interviewed people as there is a lot of material in the book with his influence with him and his politics and the person that he became. of course they want to know what would happen with rv in
1:10 am
subsequent years but he was more honored than any gay person in modern history. i first found out in time magazine 1999 article 100 most important individuals of the 20h injury. not 20th century america but the whole world harvey was included in a section called heroes and icons with and franken the kennedys and mother teresa. so he was only one to be included in the most influential individuals in the h century but there is a wonderful documentaryfu about him and just the honors that
1:11 am
he has received that he received from president obama the medal of freedom the highest honor that you can get in 2009 to proclaim an annual milk day they had a stamp with his image in 2016 the secretary of the navy announced the ship was being built and was named after him and i don't know how he would like that but i say that because he was so against
1:12 am
airport expansion a terminal was named after him. [laughter] so what i tried to do in the book what randy scholz did not present but i should say his papers are important and vital for anyone who doessa research so i studied his papers at the san francisco public library for the material that that they did not include in his book that i did include in mindful i'm very grateful but i try to suggest in the book harvey's complexity he was a
1:13 am
very complicated man and i grew to love him very admirable and her relic but he had a lot of war. he had a genuine passion for justice and it was really deep but he also had a genuine limelight. the and i talk about that. one story i discovered about him he was eight or nine years old you live near long island to the movie theater for the matinees on saturday afternoons and what he loved is not the movies but before the movie started the manager would have a raffle and the
1:14 am
kids who won the raffle could run up on stage and bow. and he loved that such a lovable image of him that i come back to that several times in the book because i feel that he genuinely loved the limelight to be in front of audiences from the time he was eight or nine. so he fought fervently for all those that were discriminated against not just gay people but senior citizens and workers and minorities but yet he could be outrageously insensitive to individuals and they don't hide that in the book i think that is part of his great complexity.
1:15 am
is a participant in wildly sexual gay culture in san francisco and new york but yet he could be so emotionally faithful to his partners even when it seemed quite hopeless and for the young man that harvey lived with for a couple of years that attempted suicide. his friends told him that jack was not salvageable and he would not be a good partner or if he was serious about his political career but yet he could not give up on him to the very end he was a
1:16 am
chameleon absolutely could change his appearance soar incredible that if you have seen pictures of him when he first ran for office in 1973 with a bushy tail with a denim shirt there were no district elections in 1973c you had to run for all of san diego and he realized that would not cut it he got 17,000 votes which is a lot but there was no way he would win the office he would shave his mustache and cut his hair and bought some secondhand suit and ties and he looked very dapper but on the surface he changed his
1:17 am
island easily but was very steadfast to his present so i really helped to make my readers feel what i came to all that how interesting and complex and how likable he was worth and all. so i will stop here. >> talk about the series this book is part of. i don't remember him ever speaking about religion that it is very much of his core and when i think about coming-of-age and those tragedies unfolding in europe and when i first heard about this project i was excited.
1:18 am
>> it was through the yale university press jewish lives .eries more than half of the subjects he was not at all religions he had a bar mitzvah and that was the end but interestingly enough attended passover seder's and he did attend the jewish synagogue that last year. terrible things had happened to him that last year.
1:19 am
and then his lover had committed suicide and harvey was under investigation by t the fbi it was actually called by the people and with those traumas that bothered him. and with those synagogues. but he was there for rosh hashanah and yom kippur. but with that background and
1:20 am
born in 1930 and was cognizant of what was going on in europe at that time. and in long island a nazi organization that have huge rallies only if he is away from where they lived. and to talk about the fall of the warsaw ghetto of course his parents were very upset and to say the adults in his family told him that they thought valiantly because when
1:21 am
such evils ascend and that is an important metaphor for him. often mentioning the holocaust and he gave a warning to gay people. and those that over and over again and with their judaism to repair the world. his mother died in the early
1:22 am
60s and she died of a heart attack when she brought a 24-pound turkey to a settlement house that they could have turkey for thanksgiving but she died ironically november 27 which is the same day that harvey died decades later but and that immigrant grandfather and used to say don't hide your green here people will see that anyway. don't be shy about it just be who you are and that influenced him. but then to start off in
1:23 am
lithuania and then had five kids changing cities to work for stepbrother who could not make it there they paid a pittance and they went to long island and got a paddlers pack was a peddler for a while window drygoods store and did well and then opened a huge department store and became a philanthropist and harvey was very influenced by the ads when you have to help people fight poverty. >> i really loved it.
1:24 am
there were a few of us sharing the stories over the decades it is important of those few under 40 bless your hearts. especially young clear kids he was not a genius and his life was a mess in a lot of and with those challenges ofge humiliationn that most of us have to endure in her lifetime -- our lifetime makes the story more powerful. and with those tendencies to create these artificial
1:25 am
superhero characters and i find even though i thought i heard every story there was especially the details of his family it is a much deeper sense hoping we have questions and comments from the audience? don't be shy. >> i talked about it at length that was very sad. in the last weeks of his life. that was a wonderful community center.
1:26 am
and in that he had grants to open another center elsewhere. and to write a proposal and gave it to harvey and said those did not cover what he thought was necessary to cover. he submitted the proposal but the committee that gave them the grant had some very pro- gay people on it.
1:27 am
and with paul hardeman and others with a proposal the committee was stacked and promised he would open a community center he founded a place for a site that paul hardeman and others got the fbi to investigate if there was hanky-panky going on with that proposal. and of course that was a moot point. so that is the sad story. >> that there was no evidence of hanky-panky. because it was not necessary.
1:28 am
>> earlier i heard you talk about the friendship with harvey and had they known each other for a long time? before he was elected? >> i think he genuinely admired moscone he because he fought to repeal the sodomy law in 1975 and he knew that moscone he was a good friend of the community. he ran for office and 73 and boston rhiannon 75 and ran again and 76 finally in 77. but 75 when he ran and lost as
1:29 am
soon as he knew he had lost he immediately turned into headquarters for moscone he for mayor he was m the president of the california senate to become mayor of san francisco and did a wonderful job to bring out the gay vote and he won by a little over 4000 votes and with diane feinstein and had a runoff with the man who was very anti- gay. he won by over 4000 votes and there was a big party afterwards and he repeatedly thanked harvey milk because he attributed those to the gay community that he gave up but
1:30 am
by then the second of a successful run. and he said at one point and that there is a commissioner and moscone hess appointed him and with those appeals. and harvey did a fabulous job. but his third day on the board of primitive appeals a case came to the board and wanted to open a massage parlor. and twot men came to talk about why she was denied a license. instead they would not give her license because could not
1:31 am
understand the rules and regulations of massage and said this is ridiculous i don't want to see you here again but essentially sent them running with their tails between their legs. r and with the massage parlor. and then it did well when that district opens up deciding he will run for assembly. he could not know about california politics. he could not know that george moscone hee had already promised mccarthy that he would endorse for the seat.
1:32 am
and told him he cannot do that. but actually he told the san francisco examiner he will be the shortest commissioner san francisco ever had and i'm not talking about his height and so he fired him. and that they didn't like each other very much but once he became a supervisor he worked very close with parsimony -- george moscone he was a productive relationship. >> could you talk about harvey's relationship with his father and brothers and
1:33 am
sisters? >> he had one brother. and you talked about that extensively in her book. harvey's father was born in lithuania but when his grandfather left he came to america by himself as is often the case the man of the family got someone to sponsor him and then to bring enough for the rest of the family. harvey was months old when they left lithuania. he could not bring the family to america until harvey's father had enough money to bring them.ri
1:34 am
but bill had a very hard time and we can imagine why very easily. he left the family when bill was six months old now suddenly they come here he is a tall american stranger who takes over his mother's love and that was difficult. then another child was born. and he was called babe his whole life but that also hurt to bill because he was kicked out of that role. but then bill's mother died and then married again. that was a a very difficult. he had a contentious
1:35 am
relationship with his father and out the risk of being that you have that contentious relationship with a parent sometimes that carries over into the parenting you have that relationship with harvey and did not have a good relationship with robert i don't think robert took him very seriously. and when he ran for office he admitted he thought that is harvey being harvey again but remembering that image of that eight or 9-year-old kid and did not take him seriously.
1:36 am
harvey was not conventional and did not make a lot of money and robert made a decent living. so with that relationship with his family. but i do think that was very difficult. and harvey cut robert specifically in his will the result clause that says nothing is to go to robert not that there was financial stuff to pass on.t but that was a hard time they both had together. >> did milk like white and was he courteous? >> that was a complicated relationship.
1:37 am
he ran telling his district with the working-class district that when he got onto the board of supervisors to makers sure that san francisco and they were put in their place. saying that they did not like the way that san francisco was going but was extremely conservative san francisco voted almost unanimously against the briggs initiative except for those four precincts and those were on the dan white district so those were the people they would represent. they put him there for a
1:38 am
reason. and one story that i tell it was the truth and i don't want to hide the truth but i describe it as act one of the tragedy. so there was a contentious relationship on the board of supervisors but dan white had one issue that excited him that there was a home for the wayward girls. but by the 1970s they were not as compliant and and to have a citigroup with my
1:39 am
troubled youth. but they did not want troubled youth living there. they thought those kids and not in my backyard. absolutely in the meantime harvey immediately propose the gay-rights ordinance and diane feinstein the head of the board said this has to go to committee and she put dan white in charge of the d committee because dan white was a fireman and of course he would not let the bill out of committee. o
1:40 am
so harvey knew how to play the game of politics. and then to support the opposition then pretty sure there were five votes on the board those that could count 26 he would've been the sixth about. but then gave the incredible speech.n he just wanted to get the bill passed and with black people in vietnam and they could do as good a job as anyone else and it was unfair to
1:41 am
discriminate and the committee should vote in favor of the bill with the board of supervisors will vote on that. then the civil rights bill came up and he could not do it. he voted against the opposition and then dan white was furious. he immediately made a motion as soon as harvey's bill came up to send it back to committee but nobody would go along with that notion because
1:42 am
it is so obvious what he was doing. so harvey's bill passed ten/one and the one vote against itit was dan's the second reading past with only one vote against it then signed into law by moscone event dan never forgave harvey for that. and then dan white resigned for him the board ofow supervisors november 1978 he had a lot of pressure from his supporters like the board of realtors because people like harvey wanted rent control in san francisco and dan white would argue against rent control and a few days after the board of supervisors voted to accept his resignation a few days after he resigned he
1:43 am
came to moscone's office to say he made a mistake and wanted his jobob back and according to testimony moscone he said anybody can make a mistake let me figure out how to do this but when harvey found out moscone he would reinstate him he said are you w crazy? why would you do this? he is right wing now you have an opportunity to put a liberal on the board of supervisors why you going against your constituency? and then i think dan knew that had discouraged moscone he from reinstating him and that together with his homophobia which never really changed despite the speech to the committee i think made him do what he did.
1:44 am
>> harvey took to trading like a dog to water actually think he promised moscone he before he got to office but dan was always at sea and i do call attention where was gentle with him. >> i do i think she attempted to nurture him but he probably was not that bright possibly traumatized by his experiences. anything that people would think of as normal give-and-take that he thought of as moral outrage but i think he just couldn't process
1:45 am
it or think strategically to make it happen and felt mopped and harvey could be so snide and here is a gay jewish guy walking me was probably what pushed him over the edge. >> i think that's true and several that were on the board of supervisors then said that harvey sat here in dan white that in the middle and would say such crazy things that they would pass notes back and forth to say things like that is he doing again? but he was the youngest person ever elected to the board of supervisors at 31 years old. he had no formal education he was a fireman and policemen. for a while he thought he would be a writer but that did not work out.
1:46 am
he was a lost soul in many ways and didn't know how to do his homework i don't think he ever really knew what was going on with the board of supervisors and harvey was the opposite. he would do his homework so meticulously and there was a lot of hostility because he felt people did not respect him on the board of supervisors. >> harvey used to tell me where my tightest possible genes because it would drive them crazy. [laughter] >> was harvey involved with the production of hair? >> he was a gopher.
1:47 am
it is a very interesting article in the new york times reporter had come to interview tom and harvey was there. the reporter describes harvey greatly with long hair and love beads lying on some pillows in the room and the implication is that he was just so high on pot he didn't know what was going on. but that was his involvement. [laughter] >> which of his family members? >> i interviewed michael, who i found out out about him because i found a wonderful video on youtube i suggest you all go home and watch it. harvey at the age of 11 it is
1:48 am
quite incredible. a ceremony that is jewish for the firstborn that is not part of the historically priestly class of jewish religion so. >> is standing on the staircase and 11 years old. i think it is a 30 day ceremony and he is a second cousin. michael's mother was harvey's cousin she married a man by the name of salem and actually turned to harvey asking for
1:49 am
financial advice but harvey was a securities analyst but in any case, it is quite incredible i'm sure you although transparency and remember the beginning of transparency that that is exactly what harvey does he is standing on the staircase and the camera is on him very shortly o but it is like this. [laughter] and if you get into youtube i have it in the note. something like harvey milk family movies or something like that. you can see that in my notes in the book you will find the video.
1:50 am
so interviewed michael and a man by the name of sam who was also a second cousin. his mother and was sister to bill but his mother died just about six months before i started to an and she was the family historian. but he kept her all of these pictures i have the most incredible picture of the grandfather came to the country with nothing. and in this and then go back to leukemia. long -- things the way and i interviewed another cousin
1:51 am
by the name of sherry fienberg. who did not know harvey well but could tell me some interesting things. she got married just about the time jack killed himself. and harvey was invited to the wedding and robert was there of course that harvey is a most sexual but then they just killed himself so that he is too busy to. but then become something of a historian for the milk family, they were all very helpful and and the historian did send me
1:52 am
in the direction in 1900 it was manifested and then the whole family came but just that wonderful material. >> when dan white entered city hall with a gun we know he was going after george moscone he is there any way to know if he intended to find harvey milk or did he just turn out accidentally in the way? be making intended that. he loaded his gun then he put ten more bullets in his pants pocket and he killed moscone
1:53 am
he the mayor's office is on one side of city hall then there is another walk that you walk the other side harvey was standing outside talking to someoneas outside the office and dan white said kenny see you in my office and incredibly harvey followed him into the office but it was very intentional. somebody told me he also intended to kill her but dan white did an interview when he got out of prison that said i don't remember the exact but was the lowest snake of the bunch. and said if she arrived at sty hall at the time she would be dead but she had
1:54 am
breakfast that morning it was not spur of the moment. he was very clear he wanted to do that. >> i am curious when campbell and parking. it does seem like a logical connection. >> it does but that doesn't is not anything i could trace but it is logical they were both very cutting-edge in what they did.ed i think that joe campbell got
1:55 am
involveded before harvey and joe remain friends and i can tell stories about that. but i don't think he ever met andy warhol. >> did you find any evidence stealing? >> six years he supports gay rights and was in favor of the 1975 marriage not finally
1:56 am
recognize with sullivan and his partners and he actually got his congregation campaigned for our free at one point about going to the people's temple and this letter i saw what you wanted me to see and i will be back. so here is this lovely letter how much you appreciated her but that at one point when jim jones had taken people to jonestown, there were a lot of complaints from family members and in the bay area they
1:57 am
complained to the department of health education and welfare and hd w told the post office to not mail social security checks to jonestown hero to harvey saying can you help me people are not getting social security checks. harvey actually but then with children down there learning new agricultural methods to feed the hungry all over the world. of course he could not really know what jim jones really was. but he traumatized and how awful that must have been for him that those 900 people died
1:58 am
maybe dick or jim. but i remember harvey saying that the whole place is bugged. but the story that i find most troubling is like every other liberal left politician and emerald city in hindsight speaking 2020 nobody could have imagined in their lives a nightmare of what would unfold. i thought he was completely insane but also with the head of this incredible army, they
1:59 am
have a newspaper delivered so i think every doorstep in san francisco. my family is also from indiana and reverend jones said we were just tricked cousin did i said i hope not. [laughter] but i think of all the mistakes he made. that was the most terrible and the only way to mitigate a response to that was just everybody nobody could have possibly imagined. >> i found another letter from the historical society that was written to the prime minister to say that if he would permit jim jones and the people he would do wonderful things for the countr
2:00 am
country.y. willie brown was taken in as much as harvey and all of these politicians but what jim jones could do was mobilize his congregation to get out the vote. they did that for harvey. they distributed thousands of leaflets for harvey and how could a politician who didn't understand how terrible jim jones was, how could you resist if someone says they are going to produce thousands and thousands of leaflets for you. >> i have a quick question. did harvey have ambitions beyond his work as a supervisor and what do you think was his next step? >> at one point he took his vacation and went to europe and it was always the mayor's custom money to vacation to appoint
2:01 am
someone as mayor or acting mayor said he appointed harvey. harvey just did a fantastic. he went to a ribbon-cutting and he cut the ribbon and he said i'm probably the only mayor in the whole country who will first cut the ribbon and then put in my hair. [laughter] and he loved that experience. at one point he took people on his staff to the castro for lunch and the mayoral limousine. he was interviewed by the san francisco examiner and he said where are you going? he said we are going to the castro on city business. if you give me a minute i will think of what it is. [laughter] he loved playing it up like that. at one point mike wong did a wonderful job and harvey's
2:02 am
campaigns and was his friend and was sometimes a photographer and works closely with harvey and wrote a little memoir, an unpublished memoir about harvey. at one point during the time when harvey with acting mayor he was posing for photographs a mic was there. mike said you better not act like you like them too much people will think you want to be mayor. he really did want to be mayor. earlier he ran against art add art at no saw what a great politician harvey was and at one point when art add gnosis in the assembly he turned to harvey to help him with the assembly build an assembly to push it through. on the promise that he would
2:03 am
help him the subsequent wins and run for mayor perhaps. he was already thinking his next run for supervisor and willie brown said he would be the honorary chair of the committee for the harvey milk for re-election for supervisor. people had real ambitions and i have no doubt they would have been fulfilled. >> i agree. i went to work for art add those and part of that legacy was his commitment to introduce the nondiscrimination bill every single year. took us forever to get it out of committee. we finally got it passed by both houses and the republican governor who voted to burn down the state-building. i also think he almost certainly
2:04 am
could have become mayor and what a difference that might have made to have an openly man who was the mayor of that major american city. that is what causes me the most grief when i contemplate what might have been. >> we have another question here. >> you mentioned how you were quite careful to make sure harvey didn't turn into a superhero of sorts. that is often the way. it was the really interesting to hear your thoughts on whether his reputation as if all that changed in those years? >> lillian was speaking about interviewing his family members. you know now he is so well-known
2:05 am
that his memory was fading very quickly. part of that was the horrible loss of the generation and their stories. i love talking to the old queens and learning of from them about their experiences and how they survived. harvey's family for 30 years we were doing everything we could to keep this thing alive from getting as aa -- subway stop named after him. i don't recall any involvement from the family at all and it was becoming really painful for me because i began traveling constantly in revisiting a lot
2:06 am
of colleges and universities on prevention stuff. the story as closely connected to harvey because i had the idea at one of the candlelight memorials for harvey. i would begin my stories by saying how many of you know who harvey milk was a none of the young people raised their hands at all. there were just one or two professors in the back. his name was just vanishing. i think it speaks to the power of popular culture. it took an oscar-winning film to really bring his name back. i don't get any great pleasure from saying that. worked on the film and i'm proud of it but it speaks a little bit to who we are and their thoughts about history and their lack of respect or interest in history but it really took that.
2:07 am
that comes with great peril. i was so glad that you referenced his position on rent control. a lot of people thought all harvey cared about was lgbtq and that is not true. harvey was one of the most genuinely empathetic people i've ever known and he could play out. he could make deals and he could play that game but if you are in pain, whatever that pain was harvey would look at you and he would be there for you. so it's another reason why i am so grateful to you for doing this book. i've thought about this man every day of my life since that day and i have learned so much more and have even a greater respect and love for the guy. >> do we have time for more questions?
2:08 am
>> we have time for one more question. let's go over here. >> the times of harvey milk the documentary alluded that harvey and dianne feinstein also -- often bumped heads and have some friction. i was wondering if you could tell me that was true in your research and if that was true with your experiences? >> i think it's essentially true harvey was first in san francisco in 1969 and dianne feinstein ran for office and one. harvey at that time saw her as a rich lady and pearls. she was much more than that. she really was pro and did some wonderful things. i don't think harvey liked her very much. he thought that she was in the hands of the real estate developers. she got elected because she had
2:09 am
a rich father. [laughter] but i think they had tension. she certainly gave a speech about how his homosexuality let him see other piece -- people's oppression and identified without oppression. i think they have a hard time together. you have some insights into that also could leave. [laughter] it's interesting that in had announced her retirement from politics entirely because it was so polarized and to you have referred to the 6-five vote split on the board. we are still there. we have that constant one-vote hanging in the balance either
2:10 am
the liberal way or the left away i think harvey saw her as you know a part of the ruling class that continue to control the city and the line of succession from diane to gavin. we will see what happens next. i do think that he probably underestimated her. something that people should never do with dianne feinstein. she is extremely intelligent and look at the extent of her career is extraordinary but no they did not like each other and also dianne was very proper and harvey was not. [laughter] and i think only harvey would
2:11 am
leave a tape directing the mayor in the event of his assassination. harvey you are not important enough to get shot. you are not dr. king. you are not bobby kennedy. he left very clear instructions not only who would pick set the bowl to replace him but also unacceptable. someone he rallied around at first was at home in berg and feinstein said how long did she delay that? it was weeks and weeks. everyone was getting more and more anxious and feinstein said something like she was afraid he would show up at board meetings in leather pants. diane was not for that.
2:12 am
no leather and the board chambers. >> one last quick question over here. a quick one. we are going to have to wrap up. do you want to ask a quick questions? >> i wanted to know if you could talk about harvey's military experience but this time in the navy. >> yes told people that he got a dishonorable discharge. a lot of people in the military when he got a dishonorable discharge, harvey was not one of them but i think he was making a political point. that is that were -- out of the military in the 1960s but a kind of stretch the point by saying that was not true. he became a lieutenant. for a while he was stationed in san diego and he had a fine time in san diego.
2:13 am
so that was not true. >> i would like to thank nina dobrev and cleve jones for an amazingly evening. [applause] and its harvey milk day so please take harvey's compassion, his passion, his savvy and humor out to the streets and into the public arena. thank you for joining us at mechanics institute. we will have books for sale and for signing and you can come up and meet lillian faderman and cleve jones personally. thank you. [applause]
2:14 am
2:15 am
2:16 am
good morning. welcome the center here he museum of science in boston. this is a very special guest event.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on